Don’t Put Your Oral Health on the Backburner (via @heraldnews)

8 Dec

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What if the trick to a longer, healthier life was as simple as keeping your teeth and gums healthy? Recent studies have shown links between oral bacteria and chronic life threatening conditions such as heart disease, lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and even pancreatic cancer. These are some of the leading causes of death in the United States. It’s possible that quality of life could increase, helping medical costs decrease, if oral health was considered in determining a person’s overall health.

It has been found that people with periodontal disease are up to 35 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease than those with healthy gums. By brushing, flossing and regular dental visits, oral conditions like periodontal disease can be prevented. In its early stage, gum disease can even be reversed with stricter hygiene habits and routine dental care.

There is also an evident link between Diabetes and gum disease. Diabetics have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease, especially if blood sugar isn’t under control. Gum disease causing bacteria thrive when there are high levels of glucose in the mouth. By keeping blood sugar under control and seeing the dentist regularly, diabetics can decrease their risk of periodontitis.

Because these chronic conditions have a strong correlation with periodontal disease, losing teeth is a common occurrence. This can make it hard and even embarrassing for people to eat nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts, so it is very important for a person to replace any missing teeth. If the missing teeth are not replaced, overall health and self-confidence are at stake.

Although studies haven’t proven that oral diseases actually cause these chronic conditions, it is hard to ignore the connections that have been discovered. The oral cavity is a part of the human body and should not be over looked when evaluating one’s overall health. So the next time you think about cancelling your dental appointment or are too tired to floss, think about how you could be affecting your body.

 

Source: http://www.capemaycountyherald.com/lifestyle/health_and_wellness/article_9d6c6c6e-977e-11e5-a974-9731f155ab08.html

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